Only Fools and Horses

David Jason highlights Only Fools and Horses regret: ‘Show went on too long’

After two decades on-screen, Del Boy and Rodney Trotter finally achieved their ultimate dream of becoming millionaires. The episode, entitled Time on Our Hands, aired as part of Only Fools and Horses’ Christmas special in 1996. The installment broke British sitcom records when 24.2 million people tuned in to watch the Trotter finally make it from rags to riches. However, in a candid confession Sir David revealed that being poor suited the family more and that he regretted making so many shows. 

The TV legend gave insight into the cult British sitcom, which followed the Peckham-born Trotters trying to get-rich-quick through various unsuccessful schemes.

He revealed a threat made to the BBC about leaking their famous Batman and Robin sequence and that he was far from the first actor considered to play Del Boy.

In another admission, Sir David explained that while Time on Our Hands was “incredibly moving” to watch and be a part of – maybe, it should never have happened.

The star, who was knighted in 2005, admitted there was “so much pressure” on the show’s writer John Sullivan, cast and producers to make more episodes. 

david jason only fools and horses bbc tv episode

Even to this day, people regularly ask if Only Fools and Horses will return, which Sir David explained would be impossible without its creator. 

He argued that with the late Mr Sullivan, who ԁıеԁ in 2011, being “around to supply” the material it would be a failure.

Sir David quipped: “Not for as long as John is no longer with us and all the indications are that the situation is set to continue.”

He praised Sir John Cleese and Connie Booth for “not overdoing things” and ending Fawlty Towers after “two near-perfect series”. 

However, Sir David knew that if they had limited themselves to two seasons “people would never have seen the best of it”.

He admitted that they felt indebted to the fans, who for 20 years had regularly tuned in and some “could barely remember a time” without it. 

In his new book, A Del of a Life, Sir David wrote: “Maybe we did go back to the well a couple more times than we should have done.

david jason only fools and horses bbc tv episode

“Maybe being rich, as they were, briefly, in 2001, didn’t suit the Trotters as well as being poor.”

However, he felt there were “some really good things” in the later Christmas specials and admitted that he would have “hated to have missed those”.

In Sir David’s book, which was released in October, he debated whether they should have ended the show after the Trotter family had become millionaires. 

The family finally found their fortune – hidden in the form of a brass pocket-watch, which later transpired to be an extremely rare antique. 

Del Boy tossed the timepiece, which he believed to be another piece of junk, onto an old gas cooker and stated that their lives were not going to get better out of the blue. 

Later, the pocket-watch was discovered to be a John Harrison marine chronometer – known as the “Harrison Lesser Watch”. 

The Trotter brothers are barely able to believe their eyes when it sells for £6.2million at a Sotheby’s auction and later are given a round of applause at the Nag’s Head pub for finally making it. 

Sir David reflected: “With hindsight, it would have been the perfect get-out point, the neatest of tie-ups. But hindsight is easy.”

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